Ko Poda Island Thailand

Thailand & Cambodia – 11 days & 15 lbs

Yup that’s right, we spent 11 days in Thailand and Cambodia and my bag only weighed 15 lbs! See what else we did on our amazing trip to Thailand and Cambodia!

TravelGuide

This is a trip that I have been wanting to go on for about 10 years and I was so excited when I saw that flights were so affordable!

Planning

Planning Our Trip!

So the first thing we did was see how long we could book our trip for! I don’t have a ton of time off work so I would say fitting everything we wanted to do in was the most challenging part and I think we will still need to go back someday.

Great places to go in Thailand:

Chang Mai – Supposed to be very outdoorsy
Phi Phi/Phuket – Looks amazing in pictures, but since I’m not much of a beach person I don’t know if it will be worth it.
Krabi – Very outdoorsy with a lot of non beach activities, but can still go to the beach.
Bangkok – Flying in here so going to see it no matter what, just not sure for how long!
Angkor Cambodia – This was basically the point of the whole trip for me. We weren’t definitely going to find a way to fit this in.
Erawan Falls – I freaking love waterfalls
Ayuthaya – Beautiful ruins

There were so many great places we could have gone to but in the end we decided on Krabi, Angkor Wat, and Bangkok. Knowing that, I decided to buy plane tickets for an 11 day trip. We bought our tickets 11 months in advance because they were cheap, $744 from Houston on EVA Airlines. (The cheapest I have heard of was $650.) The prices for the days we went ended up going up when we were about 5 months away from our trip to $980 and I never saw them go down.

I chose the days based on Kayaks price grid which shows all the different prices for the 3 days before and after your chosen date. To do this go to Kayak.com, flights, show flexible dates, +- 3 Days and press search.

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Visas: For Thailand you don’t need a visa if you are going for less than 30 days and for Cambodia you buy a Visa at the border for $30 but you do need to have two passport photos with you.

At nine months out from the trip I booked our hotels. The first hotel we booked was our Krabi hotel. We booked Railay Bay Resort and Spa for five nights at $95 per night. I chose this hotel because it included breakfast, they offer day tours through the hotel, it is on the beach, you can schedule airport transfers through them (good since this area is only accessible by boat), free wifi, and air conditioning. I booked the hotel through Hotels.com because they had a free cancellation option (in case I changed my mind) and if  then you see the room for a cheaper price later they will match the price.

The reviews were all pretty decent but the things that people disliked the most about the hotel were the employees and that the property smelled sewery. I decided to stick with it though for the time being because for the most part it had good reviews.

I checked their prices almost everyday and then about 3 months before our trip there was a “secret price” option that had our same hotel room for half the price but was non refundable. I ended up upgrading our room at that point from the Deluxe Cottage to Luxury Cottage (Suite Cottage) and the price was the same but it was no longer refundable. This ended up being the best decision we could have made because our room was amazing! Our cottage had a view of the beach, a cute patio and an awesome outdoor shower, we couldn’t have been more pleased!

We did notice that parts of the back of the property smelled a little sewery but truthfully there were tons of parts of Railay beach that smelled sewery so I think it has more to do with Railay than the hotel. The front of the property was fantastic though.

When thinking about where I wanted to stay in Bangkok I asked myself what I wanted to do there the most. Temples and eat. That is basically all I cared about. So then I googled best areas for food in Bangkok and the one that popped up the most was Chinatown because of its outdoor food stalls. Chinatown is also about a 20 minute walk from the main temples so I felt like it was the perfect place for us. I booked 3 nights at the Hotel Royal Bangkok at Chinatown for $34 per night which I also booked on hotels.com with the refundable option.

This hotel ended up being perfectly nice and clean with friendly staff BUT I would never stay there again. I don’t know if it was because it was so cheap or because of the area but we had the worst hotel neighbors that I have ever had in my life. People were yelling up and down the halls all night and we were woken up every couple of hours. Maybe the hotel has thin walls or maybe we just got horribly unlucky with out neighbors, but it was a pretty terrible place to sleep. On the bright side, it was entertaining!

5 months out we booked our flights from BKK to Krabi for the day that we arrived in Bangkok and they were $74 per person on Thai Smile. I found this through Kayak and then it took be to a website called Vayama. The only problem with this is that we couldn’t check any of our bags from Houston to Bangkok because we might not get our bags from EVA airlines in time to get to our Thai Smile flight.

Packing

We decided that we would carry on everything so I checked both airlines carry on rules to make sure we were in compliance and found out that our carry on bags can only weigh 15lbs! So I bought a luggage weight and did some practice packing!

EVA Luggage Rules: 9x14x22 inches and 15lb limit for first carry on & a small backpack of reasonable size

Thai Smile Luggage Rules: 22x18x10 inches and 15lb limit for first carry on & 15x10x5 inches and 3.3 lb limit for a small handbag

At first I thought we would need find a way to check our bags and maybe change our Thai Smile flight but then I saw this blog post and decided it would be really freeing to travel with only 15lbs of stuff! Plus its a tropical climate, how much can I really need?!

I bought this backpack from amazon and then stuffed it full! This was a great bag for the trip because of the different compartments and how lightweight it is! I have now used this bag for all my trips after Thailand because it is so nice to have a bag that can fit underneath your seat if you need it to. It does hurt my neck a little when I’m just standing with it on but I can just set it down and then I’m fine.

I also brought a second smaller drawstring backpack since the rules said that I could have one more 3 pound bag. It is also really nice to have a day bag that you can carry around on excursions, so a small backpack comes in handy.

What I ended up Packing:

Capri Yoga Pants (for temples)
2 Pairs of Soft Shorts (Great for hiking and walking around)
5 T shirts that look good with both pairs of shorts (With the two pairs of shorts I had 10 different outfits) (I liked the shirts with sleeves better since they protected me from getting sunburned)
Sports Bra/Underwear/Bras/Socks/Underwear Bags
3 Rompers (Great for dinner)
1 Pair of Sandals
2 Swimsuit Bottoms
3 Swimsuit Tops
Camera
Sunscreen
Toothpaste (could have gotten this from hotel)
Toothbrush (could have gotten this from hotel)
Print outs of all our reservations
Passports
Paper copies of Passports
Waterproof bags for camera/phone (could have bought in Krabi)
Kindle
Cell Phone Arm Band (used instead of a purse when going to dinner since it had a smaller pocket for cash or a key)
Face lotion
Headphones
Sunglasses
Bug repelling bracelets (Tried to pack insect repellent but it was too much liquid, so these were a good subsitute)
Passport Photos for Cambodian Visa

What I wore on the plane:
Long Yoga Pants
T shirt
Cardigan
Converse (wore for hiking too)
Rain Jacket
Fedora (really great for keep sun and rain off my face)

I also used packing cubes to keep everything organized and every night before I went to bed I would hang up my clothes that I wore that day instead of repacking them back in my bag. This made them much easier to wear multiple times during the trip!

4 months out I booked a day trip to Angkor Wat through a Angkor Wat Services Day Tours. It was $286 per person and included transfer from our hotel to Angkor Wat and back the same day.

3 months out I went to the doctor for a yearly checkup and she said that I needed a tetanus shot, hepatitis A, and typhoid pills. I had already had the necessary shots so I got the prescription for tyhpoid pills and they were $88. They ended up making my stomach really hurt so I didn’t finish taking them all. Oh well, I’m fine!

At this point I also arranged our transport from the Krabi Airport to our hotel since the only way to get to our hotel was by boat. I schedule and paid for the transfer through our hotel”s website and it was really easy.

Finally Time For Our Trip!

We took off from Houston TX at 1 am and started our 15 hour and 30 minute journey to Taipei. EVA airlines was very comfortable and I really didn’t have any complaints about the airline. They had pillows and blankets for everyone and a place for me to charge my phone. The personal screen that everyone had showed some decent movies although none of them were very new. The screens also had games on them like solitaire which wasn’t ideal because the person behind me started aggressively tapping the screen and waking me up. They really liked solitaire.

We did spend a lot of time trying to make sure that our bags only weighed 15 pounds since that was the rule for both the airlines we flew on. Since we checked in online they didn’t weigh our bags for the EVA flight or the Thai Smile flight. I did see them walking around the gate and lifting up rolling suitcase to make sure they weren’t too heavy but that is the only time that I witnessed them weighing any luggage. The whole trip in fact no one weighed our luggage, not one flight. We assume it is because we had backpacks and not rolling luggage. All that effort for nothing!! (Just kidding, having only 15 lbs of stuff was pretty amazing!)

The food was also pretty decent for airplane food. We were served a pasta and beef type dish then a beef wrap type thing and lastly a cheese omelet. Both the meals came with a roll and fruit so I always could eat that if I wasn’t feeling the food. I did start to go a little stir crazy when we had about 4 hours left on the flight so I went and hung out in the bathroom for like 20 minutes!

Finally we landed in Taipei and we went and got Starbucks! We just used a credit card to pay because we didn’t want to pull out local currency for a layover and Al’s credit card doesn’t charge an international fee. Then we went to our gate and waited for our plane.

We boarded the plane to Bangkok and were served another meal of fried rice which was pretty good. This flight had all the same amenities but was only 4 hours. Thank goodness!

Then we landed in Bangkok and chaos broke out for us. Our layover was only 30 minutes in between landing and boarding and was really not enough time. We had to leave the international terminal and walk pretty far to the domestic terminal. Then fill out an arrival and departure card. Then go through customs, then go through a security scan then we could proceed to our gate. You are supposed to save the departure card with their stamp on it for when you exit the country. (Spoiler, we got the departure card wet and threw it away, woops!)

If we had known all of this ahead of time it would have been a lot less stressful but instead we didn’t fill out the arrival/departure card, went to the wrong gate, tried to go through customs without the arrival/departure card, got yelled at, had the ticketing counter tell us we probably couldn’t get through there because we had landed with a different carrier than our next flight, then finally tried customs again, got through, got through security, and made it to our gate 5 minutes before boarding. So did it work out? Yes. Would I plan it that way again? Heck no.

Now we were on the lovely airline of Thai Smile who gave us a little sandwich and bottle of water on our 1 hour flight, very nice employees on this airline! Also the flight was only half full so we didn’t have to sit next to anyone!

Railay Bay

Once we landed in Krabi we saw our hotel pick up guide and she directed us to the van. The van took us to Ao Nam Mao peir where we waited for another couple. Once the other couple got there they put us on a long tail boat and gave us ponchos. About 10 seconds later the heavens opened up and it started pouring! So onto the boat we went in the pouring rain with a little roof to protect us. Yes, we got soaked but it really wasn’t too bad. The worst thing that got wet was our departure cards from customs which we needed to exit the country. (Don’t worry we redid the departure card.)

The boat took us to Railay East were the reception desk for our hotel is. I was pretty confused when we got to Railay East because it is much less pretty than West Railay so I couldn’t figure out where we were. It turns out our hotel spans the peninsula between Railay East and West so their reception desk is on East and the pool is on West. West is way prettier.

The boat stopped a little bit off shore and then a tractor pulling a mini pier came out to pick us up. We hoped on the tractor and were dropped off at reception. Check in was really easy since we had already paid and the only things they needed to see were our passports and the credit card I had paid with. At this point they also gave us a juice, our breakfast coupons, and a map of where our room was located.

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We got to our room and it was great! We had a view of the beach from our patio and it was it’s own little structure so it had a lot of privacy. It took us a little bit to figure out how to turn on the electricity though because to turn it on you had to put a plastic thing attached to our key in a slot in the wall, which was conveniently hidden behind a curtain. Once we got some electricity we cleaned off the airplane germs in the super cool outdoor shower. Then chugged the complimentary water bottles and got on Wi-Fi to GChat to our families that we had survived the journey!

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We also had some hard times finding our bath towels since they had been turned into cute swans sitting on our bed. We were tired.

Another great thing we noticed was that we didn’t need adapters for our phone chargers because they already fit into the wall outlet, so that was convenient! Then we put our extra money and Al’s 1990s game boy in the safe (because priorities) and headed out to get our first Thai meal!

We went to a restaurant called Local Thai on walking street and got Pad Se Ew and Mango Sticky Rice, both where delicious. The meal ended up costing us about 300 baht.

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Then we walked around Walking street to see what else there was. It was full of restaurants, bars, coffee shops, excursion planners, rock climbing places and souvenir shops!

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After walking around for a little bit we were exhausted so we went back to the room and fell asleep. No this did not help our jet lag!

The next day we tried to sleep in as much as possible but it was hard so we woke up pretty early. We decided to try the free breakfast at the resort and we were really impressed. We had a nice long breakfast enjoying the coffee, tea, and the view.

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The breakfast was buffet style and had fruit, toast, pastries, omelets, yogurt, cereal, chicken, rice, and even one morning fettucine alfredo (yes, it was delicious).

Then we decided to walk over to railay east and walk north along the beach to find a bar we had been told about called Tew Lay. The walk was really peaceful since it was so early in the morning and we really enjoyed it.

Once we got to the bar we turned around and walked south down the beach until we were at the end. Then we turned right on a path that led past the Pranang caves and to Phranang beach.

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The path went past really beautiful cave formations and tons of monkeys!

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Apparently they are selfie tolerant monkeys. (See random guy making a monkey face below.)

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The at the end of the path we got to the famous Princess cave and Phranang Beach!

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Even got to see the grotto restaurant that I had heard so much about at the Rayavadee resort. It was less impressive than I thought it would be though.

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It was sprinkling most of this walk but was still really nice. Eventually though it started pouring and we walked back to our hotel in the rain, we had a water proof bag with us so nothing got hurt, we were just wet.

We went back to the hotel and dried off and then went to pick an activity for the next day. We stopped at a tour shop that was near the West entrance of walking street and booked a Kayaking tour of Bor Thor for the next day for 1,000 Baht.

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Then we had lunch at the Mangrove Restaurant. I got Tom Yum Soup and Al got some type of curry. The curry was amazing! I wasn’t as big of a fan of the soup, it was really spicy! This meal cost us 340 Baht.

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After this we were supposed to go on a 7 Island Tour but it was cancelled due to the storm. I was pretty upset and regretting my decision at this point about coming to Krabi in rainy season. We ended up going back to our hotel and walking along the beach and swimming in the pool in the rain. It was pretty funny and we had a good time, also there was no one else on the beach!

We went inside to dry off again and I decided I wanted to take a nap so we set our alarm for 6 pm. I turned it off in my sleep though and woke up at 3 am! And then was wide awake. So that backfired! But since it was 3 pm at home I gchatted my family so it was good to get to talk to them and let them know how everything was going.

At 7 am I was dying for breakfast so we were the first ones there!

The tour shop gave us an envelope with our receipt for the tour and yellow slip of paper for the boat ride. Then she told us to be at Railay East Pier at 7:50 am and that a boat would take us to Ao Nam Mao.

So we went as we were told to Railay East Pier and showed our yellow slip of paper to one of the guys standing on the pier yelling “boats, boats, boats”. I guess they all know what this little yellow paper is because he then waited for more people who needed a boat and then took us all to Ao Nam Mao. We were shocked that we got there.

Then at Ao Nam Mao, we had no idea what we were supposed to do next. So we showed our receipt to random people until someone came up to us and she said “Bor Thor” we said yes and showed her our receipt and she pointed us to our van. We got in the van, hoping we weren’t about to be kidnapped, and then the van took us to pick up a bunch of other people from around Krabi town. When we finished picking everyone up she told us the plan for the day. We finally felt like we weren’t being kidnapped! It was great!

Our tour of Bor Thor was very fun and we loved being able to kayak through the caves! We took our dslr camera in a waterproof bag and once we felt like we weren’t going to tip over the kayak I took out the camera and we got some great pictures. Our guide was also really great about taking pictures of us so we have a lot of great pictures of us kayaking too! Our guide also provided us with additional waterproof bags and water which was very helpful.

The total trip took all day, we drove about 40 minutes to Bor Thor, then kayaked for about 3 hours (including a stop inside a cave), then had lunch, then got back to our hotel around 3:30.

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After we were dropped back off at Ao Nam Mao and our tour guide told the people there to take us back to Railay East. We got back to our hotel around 3:30, it was a really long trip!

Once we were back we went to Walking Street to find a Rock Climbing company for the next morning. We chose King Climbers on walking street and it was 1,000 baht per person for a half day, ending at noon. Then we went to dinner at Family Restaurant. We got Panang Curry chicken and Fried Basil Chicken and our total was 440 baht. Everything was amazing. No complaints here.

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The next morning we woke up bright and early and ate breakfast at the hotel then went to King Climbers to start our rock climbing day. I have only rock climbed once before this and I thought it was really fun! It was more fun after I fell a bunch of times because then I realized falling isn’t all that scary, it just happens. Also everyone else that we met during rock climbing was really nice and supportive which made it easier to be less nervous. We met a lot of great people!

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After that we had a quick lunch at Kohinoor Indian where we got Garlic Naan, Tikka Masala, and Curry. Everything was so good! We were in heaven! This meal ended up costing us about 900 baht.

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Then we went to our hotel excursion office to book a Waterfall, ATV, and Rafting trip for the next day that cost 1,900 baht per person.

Then we went off to our rescheduled 7 island tour that had been cancelled our first day in town.

We had booked this trip through Hotels.com a couple months before we left so the guide emailed us letting us know where we should go. We went to Railay East to meet our guide per the email they had sent us. The person was late so we were getting really worried we were in the wrong place or that it had been cancelled again. She showed up though and took us to a long tail boat that took us to a large ferry that was waiting 100 yards offshore.

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Also saw Captain Jack Sparrow on the way out!

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The ferry ride was really great! The day was beautiful and I loved seeing the coast where our hotel was! I could find all the beaches that we had walked to on our first day in Railay!

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Our first stop was Ko Poda which was beautiful! the water was so calm and crystal clear. They gave us about an hour to walk around and enjoy the island and then we go back on our boat.

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Our next stop was a little island that had a land bridge that connected it to a couple other really close islands. We decided to stay on the ferry this time because it was really relaxing to just sit at the front of the boat and enjoy the view and good weather.

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When everyone got back from the second island they gave us all snorkels and told us we could snorkel for a little bit if we wanted to. The water really wasn’t very clear in this area so I was really scared to get in the water! Al convinced me to get in though and we did see a couple blue tang’s and angel fish, it was pretty fun! Not the best snorkeling I have participated in though. There were also a lot of sea urchins so you had to be careful not to step on any of them since that would hurt really bad.

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After that we continued our sunset cruise past chicken island and back to Railay East.

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After the sunset portion of the tour they took us to a very mediocre dinner and then back out on the boat to see the biolumniscent plankton. Turns out that you have to get back in the water with a snorkel to see them, and I didn’t want to get wet again, and I was scared of sharks. I’m a pansy. Al got in though and said he could see a couple little spots of light, but overall he didn’t seem very impressed.

After that we were exhausted and fell asleep!

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The next day we woke up, had breakfast and went to our hotels reception desk to start our tour of the waterfall, ATV and rafting. We got a longtail boat where they took us to Ao Nam Mao pier. From there we got in a van and the van picked up a couple more groups from some hotels in Krabi. Once we were all in we started the drive to the waterfall. We even got to stop at a gas station on the way and we got some fun snacks!

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We got some excellently weird food! Garlic Buttered Scallop Lays did not disappoint, they tasted just like a garlic butter scallop, very strange, probably wouldn’t get it again. The green tea Kit Kat was one of the worst things I have ever tasted, so gross. The chocolate twist things were pretty good! They were like light chocolate wafers. The red package we named chocolate styrofoam, not bad though! Overall a very entertaining food adventure for us!

Next stop were the waterfalls which were in Sa Nang Manora Forest Park.

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These waterfalls were beautiful and we got about an hour to walk around and see them all.

After that we headed off the rafting. At the rafting place we had lunch that consisted of rice, chicken and a soup. I have no idea what it was but it was good! Rafting was pretty short, we did the 10 km raft trip and it lasted about 30 minutes. It was really fun though rafting through the Thailand jungle and really pretty!

 

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After that we went to the ATV and Zipline park. The tour we had booked through was for 1 hour of ATV and no ziplining but for our tour they put a bunch of people together that were all doing slightly different things. Most people were doing 30 minutes of ATV and then the zipline. The zipline looked pretty lame so we weren’t sad that we didn’t do it, also it looked kind of sketchy.

We the kept telling the guy in charge of ATV/Zipline that we were doing 1 hour of ATV and no zipline but he was very confused and asked us “Zipline?” about five times. The last time he asked us “Zipline?” and we said “No” he looked like his head was going to explode! He takes ziplining very seriously!

Eventually he just told us to sit on a bench and wait, and so we did. Maybe 15 minutes later different guys took us on the ATV tour and it was really fun! Nothing like riding through a jungle stream on an ATV!

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We got back pretty late that night and we were starved! We went to Kohinoor for dinner again, because we loved it. This time I got the Butter Chicken though. The price was about the same.

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The next day we knew we had to check out by 11 and that we were supposed to be at reception for them to take us to the airport at that time so we woke up early, ate breakfast, and hiked to see the Lagoon and View point which were on the same path as the one to Pranang cave.

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We climbed up the first portion of the hike to where it split between the lagoon and view point hikes. We did the Lagoon hike first because we heard it was much more difficult than the other hike, which it was! At one point we were going pretty much straight down using a rope to hold onto. I never felt like I was going to hurt myself or anything but it was definitely a work out! Once we got down the rope portion of the “hike” there were three ladders leading down into the lagoon. By the time we got to the lagoon I was covered in red mud, very photogenic!

Since I looked so great covered in mud Al decided it was the perfect time to propose! I said yes of course and got mud all over the pretty new ring! It was very romantic being down in the lagoon just us too and I didn’t want to go back up!

The lagoon was really cool because it looks more like a cave without a roof than anything. There were towns of stalactites and geological formations down there and it was very impressive! You do have to make sure you go at the right time of day though because we are pretty sure that the lagoon goes up and down with the tide. We talked to some other people that went up the day before and their pictures showed no water at all, just mud.

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Next we hiked out of the lagoon and did the easier hike to the view point! Great view!

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Then we did the climb back down thanks to the trusty rope!

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Our last event before we left was seeing this monitor lizard chillin next to the beach! He wasn’t very friendly.

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After that we cleaned up, packed our bags, took some final pictures of this beautiful place, went and got some delicious iced coffee on Walking Street near King Climbers and headed to reception to check out.

There were a lot of things I wish we could have seen in Krabi that we didn’t have time for so we will definitely have to go back there someday. Next time the Phi Phi Islands, James Bond Island, and the hot springs will all be first on my list.

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It was really hard leaving this beautiful place.

The hotel got us to the airport in plenty of time for our flight though and it was a really easy travel day.

Bangkok

Once we got into Bangkok though it took us two hours in a cab to get to our hotel in Chinatown. Thankfully we had stopped in the 7-eleven at the airport and got a ham and cheese sandwich that they warmed up for us, otherwise I would have been starving.

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It retrospect it would have been much faster to take their rail system into the city, we were just too lazy to figure out how it worked so did the taxi.

Chinatown was really cool at night. We found a good place to get some Pad Thai street food and I got a pomegranate juice, then it was time for bed.

The next day we woke up and got breakfast at a pastry shop that was to the right of our hotel when we walked out the door. We asked the lady who worked there what was good and she pointed to a pastry in the case. We ended up getting two iced lattes and a pastry that was labeled “butter”. It didn’t really taste like butter but it was amazing!

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Then we went to see the temples. We totally got scammed on our way to the first temple though! I never thought we would be those people but we were!

Basically what happened was this nice guy that “went to school” in Bangkok said we should go see the lucky buddha temple and a factory. We were like sure why not! He helped us get a tuk tuk and off we went! The temple was good and fine but the factory ended up just a suit shop, we stayed ten minutes and the tuk tuk driver dropped us off at Wat Pho. It was just the dumbest scam I have ever heard of.

By the time we got to Wat Pho we were hungry because it was noon! We went to a nearby restaurant and it was delicious! We got Salmon, Fried rice, Green curry soup, and Strawberry smoothie, it was all delicious as usual. Our total was about 500 baht.

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We finally got to Wat Pho and spent about an hour there. It really was a beautiful temple and the Reclining Buddha was very impressive.

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Afterwards I had intended that we would go see more temples but we were both kind of over temples at that point. Everything was starting to look the same. We headed back to our hotel and someone else stopped us and told us we should go see Lucky Buddha! Scammers everywhere! Bangkok is not a very nice city it turns out.

We went back and enjoyed out hotel’s rooftop pool and played some cribbage until it started to rain.

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One day in Bangkok was plenty for us and we did not wish we had seen more of it at all. The city wasn’t really fun to walk around in, and it turns out people weren’t as nice as they seemed. Bangkok fail.

The next day we were off to our Cambodia Angkor Wat Day Trip! So Agressive!

Angkor Wat

We booked our trip through a tour agency that sent a car for us at 2 am. So at 2 am we got up and got in the car to make our way to the Thailand-Cambodian border. The van was big and had wifi so that was nice! I couldn’t sleep though because I felt like if I did someone would abduct us. (Even though everything ended up perfectly fine.)

Once we got to the border we were greeted by the guy that was going to help us get our Visa’s and enter the country. We went through immigration and at this point we realized we hadn’t saved our departure card from when we first entered the country. We got a new one though and filled it out and everything was fine.

Then our guide showed us to a van that drove us to a cafe. He told us we could get coffee while he got us our visa’s. So we gave him our money for our visa’s, our passports, and extra passport photos and waited. This was terrifying. He came back though with our passports and we were good to go!

Cambodia is very strange about the currency they accept. Their local currency is Riel, but they don’t like to accept it and our guide had said they prefer USD. We didn’t think we would need USD so we only had $20 on us and our Baht from Thailand. So when Al went to get a coffee he tried to pay in USD and they didn’t want it. So instead he paid them in Baht and they gave him back change in Baht and Riel. Al came back to the car looking incredibly confused!

Next we were in Cambodia and driving to Angkor wat!

Cambodia was amazing and I really wish we had planned more time to stay in Cambodia because there was a lot more to see and do there than I had originally thought!

The temples in this area are all really cool and unique because all the different kings during this time were trying to one up the last one so the result is tons of beautiful structures that have lasted 900 years!

The first temple we went to was the magnificent Angkor Wat. I was so excited I was basically running and I looked back and Al and our tour guide were like 20 yards behind me. Slackers. I told them to hurry up and walked on without them.

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Once we were done at Angkor Wat it was off to Angkor Tom. Below is one of the four gates into Angkor Tom. (One of which was used in the filming of the movie Tomb Raider.)

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Inside Angkor Tom is the temple with 200 faces on it called Bayon. This temple is really impressive with all its carvings and detail. It is so intricate!

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After Bayon we walked to the gates of the old grand palace which are still there even though the palace is no longer there.

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The last thing we saw in Angkor Tom was the Elephant Terrace, if you look closely you can see that the columns are carved to look like elephant trunks.

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At this point we were starving so our guide took us to a spot to eat lunch. He didn’t eat lunch with us but he did walk us to our table and help us order. We paid in USD here, because that makes sense, and our lunch was about $20. We both got Khmer curry and it was very gingery and delicious.

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Then off to Ta Phrom, the one I was most excited for! (Also used in the move Tomb Raider.)

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Banana Spider hangin out, don’t worry, only mildly poisonous. The internet says you usually don’t have to go to the hospital for these kinds of spider bites. 🙂

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Ta Phrom was so impressive and the pictures don’t even remotely do it justice!

After Ta Phrom we made the 7 hour trip back to Bangkok and got back to the hotel around 10:30 pm. I don’t regret our day trip to Angkor Wat because it worked best for the time we had on our trip but I probably wouldn’t suggest it to anyone either because it was exhausting!

The next day we packed up and checked out of the hotel. When we went to check out we got charged for ruining the towels with the mud from the Krabi Lagoon hike, so we spent $30 on towels in Bangkok. Oops.

Then I was in the mood for fried rice and thanks to Thailand I was in luck! We went out of our hotel to the right and walked about a block or two before we found a little restaurant with a picture of crab fried rice. It hit the spot.

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I don’t know what Al got but I thought it looked kind of gross.

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Then we headed off to the airport for the last time. We got Burger King at the airport, just the normal burger and fries order, and it was $30! We didn’t even care though, we were so happy.

The only interesting thing that happened on our trip home was that our flight from Bangkok to Taipei was delayed so when we landed in Taipei it was time for us to board our next flight. The crew knew that we would be cutting it close though and came and got us about 30 minutes before we landed and moved us up to the front of the plane so that we could be the first off the plane. Then we sprinted to our next flight! Made it!

Home to Houston!

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